Saturday, September 28, 2013

Monumental Dive

I bend into my start position. Breathe in. Breath out. Dip my head... 

10 But...

9 Instead...

8 I throw...

7 The wet washing...

6 Across the kitchen floor...

5 As I...

4 Launch myself...

While doing a backwards body flip...

Head first ...

Into a cupboard

I may be a clumsy clump with crazy balance; but a bruised knee, broken toe (I am sure), sore head and a shoulder that refuses to work like it ought, do not stop me chuckling.

After all Charlie Chaplin said:
Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mud on my nose in the veg plot

I wander out of the back door singing along to Smooth Seventies radio station:

 ..."How happy you made me oh Mandy, Well you came and you gave without taking and I sent you away oh Mandy" I snip at my sweetcorn kernels bursting from their skin... 

(the song takes me back to a teenage holiday in Kidwelly when my sister (Mandy) and I fell in love with the camp-site band - yes all of them!!) ..."and you kissed me and stopped me from shaking and I need you today oh Mandy"...

I bend to pull courgettes from the plant which is spreading its tentacle like stalks...roasted home grown vegetables in mind for tea...

I lean forward bellowing "I'm standing on the edge of time, walked away when love was mine"... as with flailing arms I grab at the wet, slippery compost bin...still singing.."caught up in a world of uphill climbing, the...arrrgh...mud is...oooohhhhh..."

"in my eyes"

Mr H always says one thing at a time; but do I listen..Never!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moving out of my comfort zone

I fix my eyes on the ceiling and watch as the pale blue panels sail by. My mind is far below.  

Thats it move both your legs, good; keep moving your left one 

Slowly. Slower. Don't forget to breathe

A wave like grin crosses my face as my left leg, like a flipper takes it lead from my right

Keep smiling

OK. when you are ready, deep breath in...

I inhale as I repeat Bill's mantra in my head; 
Tip your head forward, sweep your arms through the water, knees up, bring your left knee up, concentrate,  push your bum back..keep your arms forward. Slowly I switch from lying on my back to upright. 

The bottom of the pool is now as deep as the sea, I have passed the safety of the green bollard.

 I lean forward, stretch my arms out and like a slow motion movie, switch to breast stroke. I float like a buoy it must be the extra air in my head...

Well done!

I would punch the air with delight but my arms are busy propelling me back towards the shallow end.

OK lets go again, Bill says...

...I walk on air as I hug my sense of control close to my chest and leave my comfort zone flapping in the pool...

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Team Tim & 5'O's Made it to John O Groats...with Jon

Well the day has arrived. The team hit the top of the UK 

As Tim says:

Well after a delightful stay at our poshest accomodation yet (a fishing and shooting hotel in the middle of the lochs and moors of northern Scotland) we set off in good spirits for our last journey on our trusty bikes.

It was a lovely quiet run following a river down to the sea. 20 miles or so of gentle downhill. Perfect except for the odd light shower.

Coffee and cake awaited as usual and then we were on our way again.

Next stop Thurso. Now being on the coast you might think it would be flat but the next 30 miles were a series of long climbs followed by great runs back to the sea. And so remote with stunning views over to Orkmey.

Lunch in Thurso and then a basically flat 20 miles to the end at a pretty rapid speed.

Jane and asked for sunshine and that's what we got together with the wind on our backs. We couldn't have asked for more!!

So at around 4pm and we think about 1050 miles the end was reached

Jon made it all the way!!

Now to relax!


Friday, September 13, 2013

My sticky pal keeps me on my feet

He treads the same ground at my side
Keeps my feet on the path when I stumble
And drops to the floor when I stop

Shows the way with his black bottom
Hooks my bag when out of reach
Tells people I need to sit

His French pedigree delights passers by
He spies holes in the tarmac,
pushes strangers out of my path

He finds shimmering shells dug into sand,
as I slip in the sea when the tide trickles out
But rescues me when I resurface

I slide my hands down his shiny brown coat
Let him rest in the warmth, 
while chair backs and rails do his work

Monday, September 9, 2013

Made it to Scotland on Puncture Day!

At the moment I am blogging each day about the Bike ride as Tim and the Team feed me click on The Tab above Tims Bike Ride for a tale or two....

Whoops resonate in the hills; The Team Tim & 5 'O's are in Scotland!

The stay in Penrith in Cumbria (Lake District) made the Team smile because the B&B owner washed all their kit and dried their shoes plus the local pub served very healthy meals. Two friends from Tim and Jane's Sardinian Holiday joined them and a good catch up ensued. They too have been affected by Brain Tumours so were keen to share in this experience.

All ready to set off for Crawford and Scotland when Tim spotted Puncture 1 for today on his front tyre. Quick change and they cycled away, the wind blowing them along a flat road. They hurtled along at 15-20 miles an hour (too fast for Tim!) but before Gretna Green Puncture 2 to Tims back tyre. But once repaired they were Welcomed to Scotland after cycling for 9 days

They now knew Tim had a tyre problem so Tim limped to coffee another record ride of 32 miles and then got to work. 

After much searching he found a tiny glass fragment embedded in his tyre which must have been causing the problem. Then just as they were about to leave Puncture 3 stopped them in their tracks, caused by another fragment of glass. So hoping that was sorted they cycled away leaving friends who'd only joined them for the morning and headed north. They followed the motorway along the old A74 all day. It was beautifully quiet and it was a constant but gentle climb.

Then Puncture 4 but this time for Andrew. Easy to sort as they found the metal wire sticking through his inner tube with ease. And onwards to lunch. Another lovely spread of rolls and cakes in a lay-by with a panoramic view of the hills.

With not too far to go Tim, now getting fed up had Puncture 5. But the offending fragment was quickly found and they arrived at Crawford, after 79 miles. 

Crawford Tartan
To a Truckers Stop!!!!. Jane and Lucy resorted to a wee dram to get a few winks of sleep. More about this tomorrow. 

Tim and Jane tell me the sun has been shining again and not a drop of rain. Of course it does that on the Righteous!!!

Haggis is on the breakfast menu before the Team set off for Dunoon 

More tomorrow under 'Tims Bike Ride Tab' at the top of this blog...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Moment of truth

My head was buried in books for thirty years, I moved from one exam to another as I jumped academic hurdles to help me up the rungs of my profession ladder.

I was, nursing.

Nursing was me.

Not being able to nurse spilt my heart in two; the loss of my career added another pebble to my bucket of despair.

To renew my nursing registration I need 450 practice hours in the bank and five days of education during the previous three years. So each year with shaky fingers I do the sums before I re-register. Just in-case!  In counselling I stare at my hands and shuffle my fingers as I try to deal with another fast approaching loss: 

What will I do when I am not a nurse; not registered. I will be empty (I tap my heart). 

But in two years I learn to swim to the surface of the bucket. I have time to watch birds play, go to the seaside with friends, keep my new found green fingers busy growing onions and sunflowers at the allotment, plan trips to the theatre, meet up with my cousin as he and his team cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats; start volunteering to use my life skills in a different way; laugh.

The time has come; I am out of date. No practice hours stack up when I do the sums. The letter arrives. I open it, read it, fold it in half and slide it into a drawer.

I walk down to the allotment as the summer breeze messes my hair, huge 'Jacky O' sunglasses hide my smiling eyes as I stop to watch a blue dragonfly...

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Meeting epilepsy at the crossroads

The satnav blinks in confusion
Turn around when possible
But behind is a sky of sparks

Packets of pink and white at every turn
I wonder if right is right
Stop the old continue the new

I try a left turn
Cotton wool fireworks follow
Springs of tears fall

A voyage to Twitter land and
a Tweet shows the way
Head on into life


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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Light work - sixty nine miles on the flat

Jacky and I stand in front of the Brain Tumour Charity banner and wave our flags as Team Tim & the 5 O's pedal to a halt at our feet.   

Their smiles are as big as their hearts. As they pose for photographs Jacky spots the familiar grin of Jon her son secured to the front of Tim's bike. 

At last he is making the journey he aspired to do.

Today has been an 'easy' ride, sixty nine flat miles from Exeter to Weston Super Mare passing through the Somerset downs. They arrive in Weston at 15.30hrs earlier than planned!

Tim and Lucy are thrilled, yesterday they reached the top of Dartmoor, (a 1,300ft climb from Tavistock) sweat dripping off Tim's nose, but feet still on their pedals! Tony is nearly always in front, the route is programmed into his wheels, he has done the ride before; in four days!! The circle of life is played out as they ride; stories of cygnets, herons, foals, even a cow crossing their path on Dartmoor spill out from  the Team. Tony's best moment was cycling past a raven teasing frogs from the grass before he ate them for lunch!

Today we turned our wheels at 13 miles per hour says Will,  

Lucy tells us the overall speed of the trip so far is 12 mile mph.  Andrew's wife Julie, serves a spread of coffee and scones on the roadside from a table complete with tablecloth!; Julie drives the luggage carriage and buffet car.

Jacky and I devour dripping ice creams on the sea front while the Team rest before we meet again for dinner...

...when Sudocream is added to tomorrow's shopping list...

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